Monday, June 21, 2021

GLoG hacklet: 4-LOM

Force-Lords Oppressing Multitudes 

WOE! It is a time of suffering in the galaxy. The loosening arm of the GALACTIC STATE has given way to pirates, petty tyrants, and the lurid infiltration of SITH. There are no heroes on any side of the many border wars, raids, and disputes among the many peoples of the ever widening fringes of space. Entire planets are enslaved by privation, or under the gaze of a sith's tower. The galaxy is not yet ripe for the CHOSEN ONE to heal its defects, but in the meantime mystics and scoundrels will do good, get rich, and die in pursuit of that which is worth pursuing in the myriad parsecs of space and its multitudinous worlds.

Character Creation

You have 8 hit points (HP) and 1 force point (FP), which you can spend to increase or decrease a d20 roll by 1d6. You regain all HP with eight hours of rest. Unless otherwise stated, the rules of the game are like your hack of choice.

  • Alien: Randomly generate one. Make some random sounds; that’s your name. You speak Basic and the single language of your race.
  • Human: You may switch two stats around. You have a real-life name or a plausible fascimile of one. You speak Basic and get +1 to rolls to see if you know a language.
  • Droid: Instead of being an organic being, you’re an intelligent. Cross out the force point section of your character sheet. Decide on a body schematic and function with your DM, moving up to 4 points around to aid this. You can weld hardware directly onto your body. You have an alphanumeric name. You speak Basic and/or Binary.

When you encounter a language you have not encountered before, you may roll a d6. On a 1, maybe modified by DM discretion, you know that language.

Pick one of the following two classes, or suggest your own:

Force User

Starting equipment: a lightsaber of a particular color, robes of a particular color, one space artifact.

+1 FP per template, automatically deflect 1 projectile per round.

  • A: You can exert telekinetic force roughly equal to the strength of a human’s push or one-handed carrying ability, and jump about thirty feet.
  • B: If you did nothing but deflect projectiles last round, you can attempt to reflect incoming attacks with an attack roll. With a minute of focus, you can sense the general direction of life within one mile.
  • C: You are followed by a student (see the tables below). Additionally, you EITHER gain strong telekinesis; allowing you to mentally exert force equal to a rocket launcher OR gain a mind trick, allowing you to make those with less HD believe something plausible with no save.
  • D: Work with the DM to invent a special force technique that you master in a night of contemplation, like the ability to shoot lightning from your fingers or come back as a ghost.

“Jedi” is a force user of any school that is sanctioned (endorsed) by the state as peacekeepers. “Sith” is a force user of any school that is sanctioned (forbidden) by the state. Normally, this is for killing peasants and raising undead fleets. Consider the teachings of your school and the symbols of their practices, and whether they are generally seen as Jedi or Sith.

Jedi are assigned padawans as student, and responsible for teaching them probity, peacekeeping, and the practices of their order. Sith take on apprentices, teaching them the mystic criminal trade and tithing any "scores" their students make for as long as the master shall live. Roll on the appropriate table below upon reaching C Template.

d12 doofy padawan table

1. Weird but chill alien

2. Incredibly zen child

3. Incredibly zen child who sometimes lapses into dark contemplations…

4. Cowardly but fun-loving stoner

5. Inner-world suburban youth covered in tattoos of sealing

6. Inquisitive sort with the naivete of one of Socrates’s interlocutors

7. Jolly fellow with a thick beard and no shoes

8. Brought her own sword

9. Former child-monarch

10. Rustic farmhand

11. Roll on edgy sith table

12. Roll twice and combine

“The fact is that a man who wants to act virtuously in every way necessarily

comes to grief among so many who are not virtuous.” -Machiavelli

d12 edgy sith apprentice table

1. John malkovish

2. Clone child with extra letter

3. Libertarian magician

4. Instead, six assassin robot

5. baron(ess), count(ess), or viscount(ess)

6. Cyborg, with additions made to be deliberately scary

7. Always uses a helmet and voice modulator

8. Spooky thirty-something who looks exactly like a demon

9. Won’t stop lighting their fists on fire

10. Shaved acolyte who just hates jedi

11. Roll on doofy padawan table

12. Roll twice and combine

But, my pupil, as my pupil you have learned the worth of scorn,
You have laughed with me at pity, we have joyed to be forlorn,
What for us are all distractions of men's fellowship and wiles;
What for us the Goddess Pleasure with her meretricious smiles!
-Sadie Williams


Starting equipment: a blaster, work clothes, two space artifacts.

+2 initiative per template

  • A: Maximum damage against surprised foes. Once per episode, declare you know a particular NPC, and that they don’t want to kill you right away.
  • B: You always have at least the minimum technical skill required to steal or disable something.
  • C: Once per episode, do something totally against the odds.
  • D: Hirelings and allied fringe weirdos get +1 attack if they abandon all defense. You can use them as shields, reflecting 1d12 damage from an attack into them.

d20 space artifacts

1. Robot mechanic with an odd body schematic. Start with an understanding of binary.

2. Freighter, the space equivalent of a long-haul truck. Lots of nooks and secret spaces.

3. Fighter, the space equivalent of a sopwith camel. 50% of having a little ring that makes it hyperspace capable.

4. Laser-resistant vest. Gives DR 2 against laser blasts.

5. Flamethrower. Shoots a small cone of flame. Anyone damaged keeps taking damage until the fire is put out.

6. Jetpack. Can carry you 500 feet per round for up to ten rounds at a time, or slow your fall. Either superfast or just enough to break a fall, with no moderate speed.

7. Laser Crossbow. Throws damaged enemies back.

8. 2d4 balls of void-dynamite. Can be programmed with any sort of fuse routine. Annihilates anything within five feet, anyone within 30 feet takes 6d6 damage exploding. If cover is nearby, they can save for minimum damage.

9. Electro-fist. Also powers electronics

10. Universal power-pack. Slag fuel can be removed, having the general qualities of napalm.

11. A staggering amount of spice

12. A vantablack curtain that confers invisibility to all scanners and invisibility in shadows if you hold still. Large enough for two, if they’re cozy.

13. A lethal eCig. Save vs death, on a success you still lose ten years off your life.

14. Vibro-eskrima. Can punch through metal.

15. A handheld device that can detect midi-chlorians— microscopic creatures that attach to all forms of life, especially those strong in the force. This gives up a read-out of all life within 30 feet, and indicates how many HD of force user (or similar) any of that life may have.

16. A hand-me-down landspeeder, like a motorcycle but cooler.

17. 4 little probe droids, constantly uploading data to your handheld module

18. Rebreather, only a couple fingers big, that lets you breathe in water, fumes, or void for up to 2 hours before needing to be recharged.

19. Service of an alien. Start with their race’s one language.

20. The plans for a nearby dungeon


You either know how to use modern weapons, like blasters and vibro-knives; or elegant weapons from a more elegant time, like lightswords and blowguns. When using a weapon you don’t know how to use, get -4 to attacks with it and on a critical failure the worst imaginable outcome results.

Weapons deal 1d8 damage, and if you are unarmored and out of cover you also roll on a wound table. Lightsabers and giant cannons make you roll on the wound table anyway. At 0 or less HP, roll with a +1 on the relevant wound table. At -8 HP, you die messily.

Wound table (shot)

1. Graze. Take 1d4 fatigue.

2. Beloved charm or tchotchke absorbs the blow that would have fried your heart. Lose one significant item.

3. Arm shot. You cannot use it for 24 space-hours.

4. Gut shot. You are slowed, take -2 to most physical rolls and any further wounds are rolled at +2.

5. Blasted to within an inch of your life. Allies must get you to a healing tube, stat.

6+. Smoking hole in your head. If that was your only one, you are dead.

Wound table (cut)

1. Graze. Take 1d4 fatigue.

2. Vital part of a significant item bisected.

3. Hand cut off. Must get a new one from the local electronics store.

4. Hand cut off. Must get a new one from the local electronics store.

5. Beat to within an inch of your life. Allies must get you to a healing tube, stat.

6+. Cut in half. This kills you


4-LOM assumes a broad-strokes Star Wars-esk game. It occupies the spaces of intense anti-canon that early Star Wars gaming sessions must have, when no one knew what a Clone War or Darth was. It takes place in no particular era, and you should include everything from a Star Wars story that you really like, as well as everything you think is unbearably dumb. Include nothing which is boring. Notice that the allowed classes are Force User, Scoundrel, and anything the players suggest or that the DM think would be cool.

I do recommend that you let the galaxy be diverse and scruffy, enough that force users and scoundrels make natural company, and the mayor of a planet may hire them to locate the holocron-gem said to lie in the bottom of an ancient ruin.

The game loop of 4-LOM is almost identical to a typical dungeon game. The PCs seek wealth and pursue their goals by seeking dangerous, neglected places full of treasure, periodically returning to civilization to recover and spend their loot. Unless you have a specific reason to do otherwise, treat each planet with the same complexity you’d give a single six-mile hex. When the adventurers travel from the border town to the dungeon, they’re going from the fringe world to the ruin world. Feel free to expand the details on a planet more as time goes on, but don’t complicate things unnecessarily.

d12 planet types

1. globe-spanning city

2 globe-spanning forest

3. globe-spanning desert

4. globe-spanning ocean

5. globe-spanning tundra

6. globe-spanning wastes. 50% chance of atmosphere

7. globe-spanning mountains

8. globe-spanning sinkholes and tunnels

9. globe-spanning pastures

10. globe-spanning gardens

11. globe-spanning archipelago

12. Strangely, this planet has multiple biomes? Roll 1d4 times and combine.

“How vast those Orbs must be, and how inconsiderable this Earth, the Theatre upon which all our mighty Designs, all our Navigations, and all our Wars are transacted, is when compared to them. A very fit consideration, and matter of Reflection, for those Kings and Princes who sacrifice the Lives of so many People, only to flatter their Ambition in being Masters of some pitiful corner of this small Spot.” -Christiaan Huygens


  1. Luke Skywalker? More like Luke Orbseeker

  2. This is very solid, I like the term hacklet and shall be using it myself. I enjoy the remarkably consistent planets, and the division between the types of weapons. I would probably roll on *both* the doofy padawan and edgy apprentice table every time, getting one of each or combining both. Just for fun, and also Drama.

  3. The force is oh so strong here. Wonderful stuff.

  4. Speeder Scoundrels or Being Darth Malkovich sound better than the latest movies.

  5. Fun game. Can recommend, especially when run by its creator.